California Bans State-Funded Travel to Georgia for Restricting Boys From Girls’ Sports

California Bans State-Funded Travel to Georgia for Restricting Boys From Girls’ Sports
California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks during a news conference in San Francisco on Nov. 15, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jill McLaughlin
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Aug. 19 an immediate ban on state-funded travel to Georgia for passing a law that prohibits biological boys from competing in girls’ school sports.
Bonta called Georgia’s recently enacted House Bill 1084 “transphobic.” California’s list where state employees can no longer travel now includes 22 states. Arizona will be added to the list at the end of September.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the new law in April. The legislation—known as “Protect Students First Act”—mainly bans classroom instruction that teaches “divisive concepts” such as teaching children the United States is fundamentally racist and people are inherently or consciously racist and oppressive to others because of their race.

Lawmakers also included a provision in the bill that allows a state committee to adopt Georgia High School’s athletic association policy prohibiting biological boys from participating in girls’ school sports. The athletic association amended its bylaws in May requiring student-athletes to compete under the sex listed on their birth certificate.
“Blocking transgender youth from playing sports isn’t just discriminatory, it’s government overreach—and it’s happening in states across the country,” Bonta said in a statement. “Rather than protecting personal freedoms, state legislatures are going out of their way to invent a problem and target the rights of children. It’s a gross misuse of public resources. California refuses to take part.”
California is restricted from funding state-sponsored travel under Assembly Bill 1887, a law that prohibits state employees, agencies, commissions, officers and members from traveling to a state that has enacted laws against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Georgia’s governor’s office responded to Bonta’s announcement, telling The Epoch Times the ban would have little impact.

“Unless Attorney General Bonta plans on banning companies and film projects from moving to Georgia from California, this will have little impact on our state,” Gov. Kemp’s spokesperson said Aug. 22. “Georgia is the No. 1 state to do business because companies know they will be treated fairly here, and that extends to the fairness that girls and their parents expect when competing in sports.

“Someone should also be sure to alert Gov. Gavin Newsom of this ban, given his apparent yearning to be the 2024 nominee at the Democratic National Convention, which is seriously considering Atlanta as a potential host city,” the spokesperson said.

The Democratic National Committee is considering four cities—Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and New York—as finalists for the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

California state officials are banned from using state funds to travel to two of those cities—Atlanta and Houston.

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.